The Hole in the Sun
Our Sun is leaking plasma which is ejected into the far-ends of our solar system. Studying such phenomenon allows us to learn more about the Universe we live in. Read on.
The Japanese solar mission, Hinode is equipped with instruments which make it particularly adept at observing multi-million degree solar plasma. The solar atmosphere is known as corona, and it is hotter than the solar surface. The picture above is taken such that only the relatively hotter corona is seen and the cooler plasma is represented by the black patches.
The two large black patches seen in the photo are known as corona holes- regions of cooler plasma. These regions represent open magnetic field lines where solar plasma is sent into the fast solar wind and from then on, reaches the far ends of our solar system.
Solar missions such as the Hinode, monitor the Sun, especially the corona holes closely. The ejection of plasma into space hails the start of the space weather chain. Space weather prediction is critical to scientific studies, enabling us to understand and discover the origins of high energy particles and electromagnetic fields.